Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Entryway window glass soldered, framed and ready for installation

After a day or so off to celebrate Christmas, I went back to working on this lovely little window.  Since this window will be in a front door, I wanted it to be extra strong.  See below that I snaked some flat braided reinforcement tape randomly throughout the window.  (Note that there is a brand called Strong Line Internal Steel Reinforcement which I do not recommend for a small window.  Its not bendable). See below (You may have to click on the photo to enlarge for a better look).
The next step isn't pretty, but its necessary .. tack soldering the piece.  This entails brushing flux (soldering liquid) to all of the copper foil. Once that's been done, tack solder together the pieces at the joints and randomly along longer lines.  Tack soldering needs to be done to the front side only. (See below).

Now its time to release the window from the jig.  Take out the push pins, remove the metal "jig" (fence), and slide out the "cartoon" (paper pattern) underneath.  Then proceed with the "real" soldering, first the front side, then turn it over carefully and solder the back.  Since this window will be viewed from both sides, extra care was taken to neatly solder both sides.

Next, the window gets washed with powdered cleanser (Comet), rubber gloves and an old dish brush set aside for this purpose. Now you can see the window's beautiful colors.
Last night my husband Eric measured and cut some thin channel (metal frame) for the window.  After the frame was cut, he put it back in the jig to prepare it for me to solder this morning.
I soldered the corners of the frame, and then soldered the lead lines from the window onto the frame, for added strength.  The next step, applying the patina, is shown below.  Black is the traditional patina and that is what we decided to use on this window. I use Novacan Black Patina for Solder.  Fill the bottle cap with a small amount and simply brush it on for instant results.

Then bring the window back to the sink, rinse it off with cool water, let dry, and apply Clarify Stained Glass Finishing Compound to wax and protect both sides of the window.  Since this window will be exposed to the elements, we will advise the homeowner to wax the window at least once a year when the weather is mild.  For an indoor window, re-waxing may be done far less frequently, if at all.
And now for the "big reveal"!  Here was the computer rendition created on December 10.
And here is the finished window as seen against this afternoon's overcast sky.  The texture of all the glass can't truly be seen in this light, but the colors certainly are brighter now.  We made some minor tweaks to the design to accommodate the door, and I'm very pleased with the results!

The next blog update will show Eric installing the window.  Stay tuned ..

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1 comment:

  1. It is a lovely piece, I'm sure the owner will love it.